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So you want a Microsoft ERP solution?

Thursday, September 2, 2021
Microsoft ERP solution

Strong companies have strong systems. Human resources, financials, supply chains, operations, reporting, manufacturing—they all depend on systems to gather, organize, manage, and analyze essential data. As a business grows an ERP solution can be invaluable for managing all those systems. But how do you know whether it’s time to invest in an ERP system and which one to choose? And how do you ensure a successful, low-stress implementation? Read on for answers.

The benefits of an ERP solution

An ERP solution is a system of integrated business applications that allow a company to manage and integrate their financial, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities. ERPs break down data silos and centralize data management by enabling the collection, storage, management, and interpretation of data across the business or enterprise. 

The result? 

Information is always available when and where it’s needed. That opens the door for more effective, efficient daily processes right now and fast-tracks your business toward a more secure future via informed, intelligent planning. 

Which Microsoft ERP solutions and systems are available? 

Microsoft offers a range of global ERP solutions to fit a variety of industries and business sizes. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a popular system known for its functionality and flexibility. It combines best-in-class ERP, CRM, and BI solutions via modular SaaS applications and services. 

On a practical level, here’s what you can expect from Dynamics 365:

  • The modular structure means that a Microsoft ERP system can be tailored to your needs. You decide which apps to start with, then grow at your own pace. Best of all, you can scale up or down at any time, so your technical solutions evolve alongside your business needs.
  • By combining CRM and ERP capabilities, Microsoft’s ERP solutions integrate your data, business logic, and processes to offer automated, intelligent sales and marketing capabilities. That means leads are efficiently converted into paying customers
  • With Microsoft Power Apps, all users have the power to build the apps they need. With a low-code, point-and-click creation experience similar to building a PowerPoint, the workflow is low risk and high reward. And when greater functionality or more complex integration is needed, you can enable extensibility for professional developers. 
  • Built on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft ERPs provide both a trusted, secure platform and a broad ecosystem of services…while benefitting from Microsoft’s expansive cloud fabric and globally distributed data centers. 
  • Best-in-class business apps work across Windows, iOS, and Android. 
  • Native integration with Microsoft 365’s productivity apps gives you a unified way to manage users and services.
  • Solutions are designed to allow you to connect with third-party payroll, banking, or industry-specific apps.
  • Data can be paired with AI and advanced analytics for sharper insights and better outcomes. 
  • The platform is future-ready, able to integrate rapidly developing technologies like mixed reality and the Internet of Things, ensuring you can innovate rather than follow.

Choosing Dynamics 365 as your Microsoft ERP solution

If the power and flexibility of a Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution appeals to you, there are two core options to choose from, customizable for your needs: 

Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations (formerly AX) 

As Microsoft’s flagship ERP solution for medium to large enterprises, this ERP system is designed to fuel business growth and transformation on a global scale. It’s ideal for more centralized enterprises, and its extensive production capabilities make it a great choice for discrete, lean, and process manufacturing businesses of any size. It not only handles traditional back-office processes, but it links to CRM and other apps such as HR or Talent, Customer Service, Marketing and more. 

Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly NAV)

Available as a cloud, on-premises or hybrid solution, Business Central is positioned by Microsoft as the next level for organizations that have outgrown their entry-level accounting software. Business Central is a great match for international organizations that are not as centralized as Dynamics Finance and Operations requires them to be. A robust foundation of core capabilities is complemented by the ability to connect financials, sales, purchase, inventory, projects, service, and operations. 

Is now really a good time? (Spoiler: yes)

A new ERP solution brings with it change that extends to processes, workflows, and routines…and which comes with a sizeable price tag. It’s not difficult to understand why some companies limp along with ineffective, patchwork solutions rather than embrace an ERP solution. Change is often hard. But avoiding change can be worse. 

How many items on the list below can you check off? 

  • You’re sinking hours into manual data entry to work around the data silos that have cropped up and ensure that financial management has the overview they need. 
  • Spotty communication between departments like Sales, Purchasing, and Warehouse is leading to uneven stock management and frustrated (or fewer) customers. 
  • Collecting and analyzing key information on your business is challenging and/or slow. 
  • Your IT system management has become expensive and difficult. 

These are all signs that it’s time—or past time—to transition. 

Maybe you already knew that, but you just weren’t ready to take the plunge. If so, consider some of the advantages Microsoft ERP software offers: 

  • Cloud-based solutions—including Dynamics 365—are easier and more cost-efficient to adopt than on-premise solutions. They also offer improved ERP security and compliance, thanks to efficient automatic updates.
  • Smarter data processing for enhanced workflows and powerful predictive analytics for faster, insightful decision-making 
  • Mobile support, allowing employees to capture and access data anytime, at home, in the office, or in the field—a boon to international organizations 
  • ERP marketing modules targeted at evaluating digital marketing
  • More user-friendly, personalized solutions

Making it work

You don’t need to settle for time-consuming, patchwork solutions, and you don’t need to resign yourself to the “pain” of an ERP transition. You just need to decide whether an ERP system is the right move for your business.

  • Can you articulate clear and specific objectives driving your interest in a Microsoft ERP solution? 
  • Is company leadership wholeheartedly committed to securing the time and resources needed for a successful implementation? 

If the answer to both questions is yes, all that’s left is the tricky bit: getting implementation right the first time.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do that alone.  

At Pipol, we work closely with you to develop the right implementation strategy, one that’s aligned with your business strategy. We get to know your business and where it’s headed so we can choose the right ERP solution for your needs. Then, we use a smart, flexible methodology to make your ERP implementation as painless as possible. 

By getting things right the first time, we save you time and resources. 

Contact us to get started.  

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